Uphill Paths Made Straight

The wisdom and power that we need to survive in this world come only from the crucified Christ within us (1 Corinthians 23-24). We cannot boast in our own knowledge or abilities (1 Corinthians 4:7; 5:6).

 

Neither can we dwell on the negative aspects of our life. We look above and beyond every issue to Jesus who is our wisdom and our joy (John 15:11). In order to live daily in God’s joy, we develop the habit of making Jesus the center of our focus.

 

Submitting to God’s Spirit as He crucifies our carnal humanity, we exalt Christ’s divinity within us (Galatians 2:20). Once we reach this place of dying to our self, our soul truly prospers (1 Corinthians 15:31; 3 John 1:2).

 

As we share in Christ’s peace and glory, we optimistically face our cross each day (Hebrews 12:2-3). We always totally depend upon, confide in and seek the Lord concerning all of our thoughts, feelings, instincts and leadings.

 

God teaches us to never rely on our own suspicions or perceptions. In everything we do, we are sure to identify the leading of God’s Spirit first, be acquainted with His Word about the issues or event, and submit our will to His (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

Then, God can guide us and straighten out any uphill paths that may be in our way. We do not ever trust in our self or entertain an exalted opinion of our self (Jeremiah 17:9-10).

 

Respecting the Lord, we walk away from anything that we sense is evil. Living by God’s Word brings health to our body and nourishment to our bones (Proverbs 3:7-8).

 

When we choose the will of God over our own will and we grow steadily in our union with Christ, we grow more like Him with each passing day (2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 John 3:2).

 

Jesus is all we need (Colossians 3:3-4).

 

Prayer:
Father God, You will receive all the glory for the creation, salvation and glorification of all the Saints on that glorious day when we all see You face to face. All we have to give You apart from what Christ works in our life, is all of our love, praise and glory that is due to Your name.

 

Our difficulties set the stage for Your miracles. The greater the miracle, the more impossible the solution, but with You all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). Our plans often operate on impulses, resulting from our human reasoning; however, we are never quite able, apart from You, to come to understand the complete truth about life or to succeed in this world (2 Timothy 3:6-7).

 

Thought for the Day:

Deep thinkers, authors, mystics, scientists and poets all try to pinpoint the origin and meaning of life, but they reject the truth of God’s Word. They come up with theories, which they cannot prove, even by their own laws; yet, if we voluntarily humble our self and believe in and trust in God, we will find rest for our soul, and He will not need to humiliate us to bring us to the end of trusting in our self.

 

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A Good Marriage – Focus on the Positive

God’s presence and Spirit in our marriage help us to overcome the everyday idiosyncrasies, irritations and hurt feelings that often cause a relationship to unravel.

 

The best way to insure longevity in our marriage is if both partners walk in the Spirit on a daily basis (Galatians 5:15-25). God’s Spirit gives us the desire and the power to keep on loving each other.

 

We overlook one another’s faults and allow each other the grace to be our self – the good, the bad and the ugly. We do not attempt to make each other over, but we do change our own behavior, perspective and focus to better meld with our mate.

 

Actively sharing together in a ministry for the Lord gives us a bond that is not easily broken by petty issues and Satan’s lies. We have more spiritual strength that negates any adverse issues that may arise.

 

We have more faith, positive feelings toward one another that overlook petty issues, and a stronger sense of partnership than couples who do not share faith and service to the Lord.

 

If our mate’s behavior affects our well-being, however, we can discuss these issues at a time when there are no demands or distractions, and when emotions are not at an all-time high.

 

We may not forget the negative incident between us and our mate, but each time it comes to our mind, or if similar behavior occurs, we can change our focus to something that we admire about our mate, or to something that we appreciate about him/her.

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us to bathe our discussions in prayer and to allow Your Spirit to give us the words to share that will not inflict pain on our mate, but will clearly communicate that their behavior was hurtful to us. Our mate may argue our viewpoint or fail to validate our feelings or dismiss our feelings as petty; but this is when we access Your forgiveness toward them, which proves to be our best recourse.

 

We know that ultimately You are our one true spouse. Remind us that You brought us together with our mate in order to balance out each other’s failings and shortcomings in order to bring more success to each of our lives. This way we will have more resources to use for Your Kingdom, and we can glorify You in all that we think, say and do.

 

Thought for the Day:

A three-fold cord cannot be broken; so when we unite with our mate and we both rely only on the Lord for our strength, wisdom and flexibility, God gives us more spiritual maturity to face life’s setbacks with grace and love for one another. – Ecclesiastes 4:12

 

 

 

Our Only True Hope

Some people have never heard of the hope, which Jesus Christ provides for those who trust only in Him. Others have heard that Jesus makes a difference, but they do not believe it.

 

They may have tried prayer, but their words hit the ceiling and bounced back to them. Their monologue was hollow, and they attempted to make deals with God, as if we have something that He cannot live without.

 

When our soul is disheartened, we run to Him and put our hope in God (Psalm 43:5). Yet, we selfishly expect Him to deliver our wishes to us, as if He was our genie in a bottle.

 

We get angry with Him, if He dares to ignore our requests; especially if He gives us what we need instead of what we want. However, complete and continual surrender to God’s will in positive and negative circumstance is the only way to stay sane.

 

When we take our eyes off our self and put them on God instead, He keeps us in His perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3). We do not fear tomorrow or regret the past, because God leads us one step at a time in the here and now.

 

Even through the loss of a job, spouse, child, pet, home, parents, etc. God cares for us. We walk in obedience to His Spirit, and live victoriously moment by moment throughout the day.

 

We learn to trust in God and not in our bank account, friends, children, job, the government or our parents. We obey His Spirit, and find rest in God alone.

 

Our only true hope comes from God (Psalm 62:5), because He loved us enough to take on the form of a human being, to live on this earth like we do, and to suffer and die in our place

 

Prayer:

Father God, You are my helper, so I will not be afraid (Isaiah 41:10,13-14). What can mere mortals do to me? In my distress, I cry out to You and pray to You for help. You always hear me from Your sanctuary, because my cries will reach Your ears (Psalm 18:8).

 

Thank You that once we put our trust totally in Your miraculous love, you always help us to find a victorious way through every negative circumstance that we face (2 Corinthians 4:8; Romans 8:28; Jeremiah 29:11). We give You all of the praise, glory and honor that is due to Your name.

 

Thought for the Day:

God gives us peace for the past, grace for today and hope for tomorrow, as we place all of our confidence and expectations in Him; knowing that being willing to accept His will in every area of our life is the only prayer that does not fail.

– Ecclesiastes 9:4

The Light of the World in Us

As God’s children, our function, even in our secular employment, becomes a consecrated focus for the Kingdom of God under the direction of the Holy Spirit.

 

Through us, Jesus answers the phone, types the letter, paints the house, repairs the machines, calculates the budget, delivers the supplies, nurses the patients, supervises the workforce, works on the assembly line, cooks the food, repairs vehicles, waits on tables, administrates the office, etc.

 

When we realize this, the stress of our job lifts off our shoulders and rests squarely on Christ in us. We seek to do His will in our vocation, because He is actually our employer.

 

God gave us our job and He funds our paychecks. We bless our earthly employer with our conscientious work ethic, and we stay open to the Spirit’s direction in order to help a hurting employee or to lead a hungry soul to Christ.

 

All the while, our union with Christ brings us to the point of total serenity. We find complete peace within and then walk in His love and joy as we follow the leading of the Lord’s Spirit for each moment of our day.

 

We no longer see problems in life, but view them as opportunities for God to show Himself strong on our behalf. He uses us in every adverse circumstance to shed His light on those around us.

 

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, our unity with You comes because You dwell within us by Your Spirit. As we submit our life to You, You swallow up our humanity, and we unite as individual members of Your singular Body (1 Corinthians 12:12, 26). We develop in our unity in the faith, in our knowledge of who we are in You, and we mature in our spiritual understanding until we walk in the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13). You make us the light of the world through Christ in us.

 

Clear our mind for us of earthly concerns and teach us to center our thoughts on Your goodness and grace. We decrease, so that You can increase within us. Take over more and more of our life on a daily basis (John 3:30) and lead us in Your will and way. We give You all of the praise and glory for everything we accomplish for Your Kingdom in our lifetime.

 

Thought for the Day:

God leads us to become as a little child and to trust Him implicitly, because it is only then that we will enter the fullness of the Kingdom of God now and throughout eternity. – Matthew 18:3

 

 

The Complete Truth about Life

The wisdom and power of life come only from the crucified Christ who abides within us (1 Corinthians 23-24). We cannot boast in our own knowledge or abilities (1 Corinthians 4:7; 5:6). Neither can we dwell on the negative aspects of our life.

 

We look above and beyond every issue to Jesus who is our wisdom and our joy (John 15:11). In order to live daily in God’s peace, we develop the habit of making Jesus the center of our focus.

 

Submitting to God’s Spirit as He crucifies our carnal humanity, we exalt Christ’s divinity within us (Galatians 2:20). Once we reach this place of dying to our self, our soul truly prospers (1 Corinthians 15:31; 3 John 1:2).

 

As we share in Christ’s peace and glory, we optimistically face our cross each day (Hebrews 12:2-3). We always totally depend upon, confide in and seek the Lord concerning all of our thoughts, feelings, instinct and leadings.

 

God teaches us to never rely on our own heart, suspicions or perceptions. In everything we do, we are sure to identify the leading of God’s Spirit first, become increasingly acquainted with His Word about the issues or event, and submit our will to His (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

Then, God can guide us and straighten out any uphill paths that may be in our way. We do not ever trust in our self or entertain an exalted opinion of our self.

 

Respecting the Lord, we walk away from anything that we sense is evil. Living by God’s Word brings health to our body and nourishment to our bones (Proverbs 3:7-8).

 

When we choose the will of God over our own will, and we grow steadily in our union with Christ, we grow more like Him with each passing day (2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 John 3:2). Jesus is all we need (Colossians 3:3-4).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You give us Your wisdom when we lack understanding (James 1:5). If we feel inferior or inadequate, You reminds us that we are children of the King, and He will never leave us or forsake us (Ephesians 2:6; Hebrews 13:5; Philippians 4:13).

 

If Satan plagues us with guilt over our past, remind us that Jesus removes condemnation for those who trust in Him (Romans 8:1). In our times of trouble, help us to direct our cares to Your safe keeping, because You truly do care about every aspect of our life (1 Peter 5:7). We thank You that Christ in us gives us peace in exchange for our worries (Philippians 4:6, 7; 1 Peter 5:7; John 14:27).

 

Thought for the Day:

Our human plans often operate on impulses, and are otherwise the results of us reasoning things out; however, we are never quite able, apart from Christ, to come to understand the complete truth about life. – 2 Timothy 3:6-7

 

Course Corrections

In many areas of life, circumstances call on us to change our direction. We may wander from the path that leads us straight to our destination or we may get sidetracked by useless quests that waste our time, energy and resources.

 

We may inadvertently take the wrong road, causing us to circle the block or to go to the next exit on the interstate. We may have to change jobs, houses, neighborhoods, church family, cars, clothing styles, etc.

 

These alterations may make more sense to us, streamline our life or put us in touch with more people who share similar convictions. Or they may grieve our soul – our mind, will and emotions – and cause us more stress that our system can handle.

 

We may make a change due to income reduction or increase, a move to a new zip code with alterations in expenses, our vehicle wearing out, our company downsizing and eliminating our position, our clothing hopelessly out of date, our vocation changing midstream in life, etc.

 

We may feel a need to find freedom from restraints, which tied us down and robbed us of our health, mental stability and joy in life. If we make these changes due to deceptive entanglements suggested by the world, our flesh or the devil, our relief is short-lived.

 

However, if we are walking in the Spirit, these changes will undoubtedly bring us closer to God and true fulfillment (Galatians 5:15-25). In the Spirit, we are allured less by our flesh and Satan’s offered trinkets, and we stop following these imprudent priorities, trivial pursuits and useless ambitions (Luke 9:23; Galatians 2:20).

 

Intimacy with God and meaningful interactions with the world around us replace our self-centered goals. Some people fear to make these changes due to visions of living a boring life void of fun, relaxation and wholesome challenges. Yet, we soon find that living in the center of God’s will is the happiest and most stress-free place on earth (1 Peter 1:3).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for sending Jesus to save and redeem us from this sin-cursed earth. We rejoice that we are merely sojourners in this world, and that our true home is in Heaven (Romans 1:4). Remind us that You planned our birth in order to fulfill Your plan for us (Ephesians 2:8-10); and following any other course will send us further from Your joy and peace.

 

We thank You for cleansing us from sin and selfish ambition and giving us Jesus as our role model. We live to serve You with every breath in our body. We look forward to our resurrection into a life completely immersed in You (Matthew 28:6). We glory in the life, which You provide for us on this earth and on into eternity. Stir us up to love and good words and give us Your joy as our strength (Hebrews 10:24).

 

Thought for the Day:

When we walk as a new creation in Christ, we find our true fulfillment in Him; we live by the direction of His Spirit; and we find the peace and joy, which only comes from loving God with our whole heart, mind, will and strength. – 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

Finding Freedom in Surrender – Surrendering to the Joy of the Lord

Paying attention to our body, soul and spirit during each minute of the day helps us to leave the past behind us and not to worry about the future as we surrender to the joy of the Lord within us.

 

Sipping purified water all day long will help keep our body running smoothly. A healthy body promotes a healthy soul and spirit. We focus on each moment of time as God gives it to us and we learn to walk by the direction of His Spirit.

 

Random acts of kindness go a long way to spread God’s love to the world around us: paying for someone’s groceries for them; allowing someone to go ahead of us, so they can pull out of a side street into the flow of traffic; holding a door open for a senior citizen; and taking other opportunities for small acts of consideration that God may lead us to do.

 

Hiking or picnicking out in nature enables us to appreciate the intricacies of God’s creation. We see how really fearfully and wonderfully we are made when we observe nature all around us (Psalm 149:14).

 

These areas of submission to God’s Spirit help us to learn to surrender our goals and agenda to His guidance and direction. This keeps us in the center of God’s will – the happiest place on earth.

 

We promote our Godly focus by taking a few moments to breathe deeply as we watch a sunset or sunrise; erecting a bird feeder and watching nature in action, which gives us a sense of completion; living a life of praise for every circumstance in life (Philippians 4:4).

 

Planting a flower garden that attracts pollinators not only promotes our future, but gives us joy as we watch them enjoying the sweet nectar of life.

 

Surrender keeps us from careening though life on the fast track. It changes our attitude to a positive, unhurried one that promotes peace and joy in our spirit and soul.

 

Prayer:

Father God, with Your love and power within us, we can change our world one person at a time. Teach us to use discernment as we follow others as they follow Christ, so that we can avoid the tainted advice of false prophets (1 John 4:4).

 

We surrender to You our personal identity, autonomy, and goals. We relinquish our fears, discouragement, and false assumptions and expectations. Help us not to cling to our erroneous dreams of worldly success and to focus instead on furthering Your Kingdom in the earth.

 

Thought for the Day:

When we are so fully grafted into the Vine that our personal identity is completely wrapped up in God’s, we experience joy that only comes through total surrender to the will of God.